If “leggings” are a term you associate with girls wearing yoga pants, then think again and keep reading, because you’re seriously missing out.
Fan or not, the body-hugging fit of performance tights has tons of perks when it comes to dominating your workouts. To name a few: you can wear them for pretty much any fitness activity, the direct skin-to-tight contact means no excess fabric getting in the way, and the compact fit keeps everything comfortably, well, in place. And hey, you can always throw a pair of shorts over them if you're not down to sport the skin-tight look in public.
What's more, certain pairs can actually help regulate your body temp, keeping you warm or cool depending on the advanced technology infused in the tight. Others offer compression tech, which helps amp up blood flow to your muscles, keeping them from fatiguing as quickly, and ultimately speeding up your post-workout recovery time.
Here, we compiled the top performing pairs in the activewear industry, making sure there's an option for every budget and every activity—from running to HIIT to yoga, lifting, and more.
We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, Men’s Fitness may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.
Best for: Compression, Training, Running, Anti-stink
2xu is taking compression to the next level with this Elite MCS pair; MCS standing for "Muscle Containment Stamping," which is their compression technology that's strategically placed throughout the leggings to target and support major muscle groups during exercise, and then help them recover afterwards. The sturdy pair is also constructed with multidirectional stretch fabric for optimal mobility, is infused with an antibacterial technology to prevent stench, and is topped off with a water-wicking surface and UPF 50+ sun protection.
These cutting-edge tights are constructed with "Dynamic Gradient Compression" technology—powerful compression panels throughout the legs that help keep the muscles in your lower body active. They're wrapped in a four-way stretch material so you can easily perform movements with a full range of motion. If you prefer to take your workout into cardio mode, this pair has 360-degree reflectivity to be seen at all times from all angles and a special "ADAPTIVE" technology that heats your body up when it's chilly or helps evaporate moisture when you need to cool down.
Best for: Compression, Training, Running, Budget-Friendly
If you associate the brand Sugoi with head-to-toe cycling gear then look no further than this state-of-the-art Piston pair to expand your perspective. The low cost still gets you all the goods. Sugoi’s special compression technology, "PISTON 200," helps combat fatigue by increasing bloodflow to the muscles. The elastic waistband lays comfortably on your body and flattened seams help prevent chafing between your legs during activities like running. Plus, its moisture-wicking surface and lightweight fabric are sure to keep you moving comfortably for miles.
Consider a full-length compression option from New Balance to amp up your next outdoor run. “3D stretch fabric” conforms to your body while bonded seams ensure every movement is entirely chafe-free. Quick-drying fabric plus laser-cut perforations behind the knees will help you stay dry no matter how sweaty your workout and reflective details keep you safe during nighttime sessions.
Constructed with a special jade material that "creates a natural cooling effect for the human body upon touch," the company claims these tights keep skin's surface temperature regulated. Meanwhile, compression properties will help amp up blood flow to your muscles, while speeding up your post-workout recovery by reducing inflammation and pain. Four-way stretch material will allow you to seamlessly move in all directions, and if you take your workout outside the gym, this pair has got you covered as it's shielded with UV protection, too.
If you’re into a more minimal aesthetic, then start dominating your every lift in these sharp-looking RVCA leggings.
Infused with Virus’ advanced technology (explained in the previous slide), these tights are topped off with a sweat-"rejecting" surface and a super-stretchy fabric. A silicone lining with a drawstring cord on the inside ensures they won't ride up, and the logo is completely reflective.
If your workouts result in a pool of sweat and, well, stink, then these Lululemon tights are for you. The fabric is made with an anti-stink technology to prevent those bad odors from happening. Plus, they're constructed with a seam-free design and sweat-wicking coating.
Another top-performing option at a friendlier price point, these compression tights will hug and support your muscles while allowing you to move comfortably thanks to four-way stretch material that provides optimal flexibility when sinking into exercises like the squat. An "ArmourVent" section of mesh allows air to reach heated spots, and they're finished with their "Moisture Transport System" to wick away sweat once it hits the suface. Plus, they're infused with an anti-odor technology to keep stench at bay.
Whether you hit the road or take your workout to the weight room you can count on these durable nylon Asics leggings to amplify your every step. There are panels along the waist and lower back designed to improve poor posture while other elastic panels are woven into the thigh and side of the knees to provide extra mobility where you need it. The internal drawstring provides a custom fit and reflective details mean you can safely sweat at night.
Never worry about the barbell scraping your leg again because Aeance developed these tights to bulletproof your training workouts. They're designed with polyester (on the main portion of the legs) and nylon (along the side panels and gusset)—the two toughest fabrics in the garment industry, which, when coupled with its spandex properties, allow for comfortable movement. Equipped with an internal drawstring at the waist for a custom-like fit, a hidden set of zippers at each ankle so you can get them on and off easily, and bonded seams for a chafe-free workout. And a bonus: it includes a back pocket that will fit an iPhone.
This pair has a snug, compressive fit that presses down on the major muscles to keep the blood flowing and prevent fatigue. They're made of a multiway stretch fabric that's infused with their signature "Dri-FIT" technology, which will help evaporate sweat and let you move comfortably. There is a zippered pocket in the back that has a vapor barrier to keep your belongings sweat-free, a drawcord in the front for a locked-in fit, and reflective details.
These Supernova Long Tights from Adidas will make your runs a better experience because you'll feel like you're wearing nothing at all. How? The tights are infused with Adidas' special "FORMATION" technology that naturally molds the tights to your body, so you'll have full support with superior mobility and maximum comfort. You can store your keys and cards in the zippered pocket in the back, adjust the drawcord on the front for a secure fit, and never worry about struggling to get these off thanks to their zippered ankles. Plus, they won’t put a dent in your wallet.
When the wind starts coming on full force during your next outdoor excursion, make sure your bottom half is covered with these Arc’teryx leggings. The front of this pair is strategically designed with a windproof and water-resistant fabric to block the strong, and sometimes unexpected, gusts of wind and/or rain that come your way, while the back is equipped with high-stretch materials and a moisture-wicking finish to make sure you can power forward with utmost mobility. They have all the other runner essentials: zippers at the ankles, a drawcord in the front, an inside gusset, excess pockets to store your devices, and a reflective logo for night-time visibility.
You can always count on Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) to create apparel and accessories with a clear combination of cool-style and top-notch function. The head-to-toe compression on these tights will help increase bloodflow to your tired muscles and ultimately heighten performance. The lightweight fabric with a water-wicking surface will keep you comfortable and dry, and the sleek, dotted design that runs from the front to the back of the leg are actually reflective circles so you can be seen in the darkest hours from every angle.
These tights are carefully constructed with compression panels that cover and support the key muscles within your lower body. You'll stay cool and content on your long runs thanks to highly breathable fabric that includes a section of mesh behind the knee to avoid slippery sweat in unwanted places. Reflective lining and logos mean you'll be visible from a distance, zippered ankles make them easy to remove, and a front drawstring cord makes them fit perfectly.